Preserving the Past - Promoting the Future!

Long Beach Blues Society plays for their pizza

at long beach va

​The Long Beach Blues Society entertained the crowd at the Long Beach VA Hospital on Sunday afternoon, July 15.  Veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan enjoyed the summer breeze in the courtyard of the Community Living Center, dined on pizza and cake, and grooved to the talents of Willy Aguilar (guitar, vocals, harmonica), Rich West (guitar and vocals), Mike Wendell (6-string bass), Tony Lopez (drums), and special guest and Iraq veteran Alex El Boy (alto sax). Long Beach Blues Society President Bob Barr was there with his wife Mary Anne, who is also a LBBS board member.

​The crowd varied in age, ethnicity, and mobility, a reminder that war affects diverse families and communities in profound ways. VA Hospital staff served the food and drink, and many took their Sunday afternoon lunch break at the event to enjoy the music and camaraderie. LBBS President Bob Barr said, “It was our honor and pleasure to serve the men and women who have given so much for our great country. Thank you to the staff at the VA for having us. I didn't get a chance to meet everyone today, but I got to shake a few hands and personally express my gratitude for their service.”

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Thank you, Long Beach Blues Society


​One great thing about the blues is that blues musicians can get into a groove without a rehearsal. One player will call a tune, and the rest jump in and jam. The Long Beach Blues Society has a long list of musicians that love to give back to their community, so every event is a little different in terms of personnel. This time, LBBS founder Bill Grisolia was on hand to sing one of his original tunes, Blue Line, about the train from Long Beach to Los Angeles. Alex El Boy, the sax player, is a veteran that joined in from the audience at a previous event. The band played for about 90 minutes and had a great time.